Popular Japanese promoter Hideyuki Ohashi, the chairman of the Ohashi Gym and the head of the Japan Professional Boxing Association (JPBA), has requested the the Japanese Boxing Commission (JBC) change their rules on how old a fighter needs to be to turn professional.
At the moment the minimum age limit is 17 years old. It was at 17 that one of Ohashi's top prospects, Takuma Inoue, turned professional.
Ohashi wants the age limit to be taken down from 17 to 16 allowing fighters to get a license after High School.
This is the second time Ohashi has made the request. The first time the request fell on deaf ears however we are expecting the request to be given an answer this time around having seen how promising both of the Inoue brothers are despite their young ages.
We hope to hear the decision on this in the come weeks though hopefully if it does happen we won't see all the top young amateurs running to become professionals, it would be a real shame if the amateur system in Japan crumbles away because of something like this
(Photo, of Mr Ohashi, courtesy of http://www.ohashi-gym.com)
We want to congratulate the Ohashi Gym on it's 20th birthday.
The gym, set up by Hideyuki Ohashi after his retirement in the early 1990's, is often seen as the second most notable in Japan right now and has prided it's self on aggressive matchmaking.
Mr Ohashi himself was a fighter who followed the aggressive match making as a fighter. His career only lasted 24 fights over 8 years (1985-1993) though in that time he was a 2-time world champion who took part in 7 world title fighters and faced the best of his era, including Ricardo Lopez and Jung-Koo Chang, who both beat him.
Since the gym has been set up it has guided several fighters to world titles, including Katsushige Kawashima, Akira Yaegashi and Ayaka Miyao. The intention right now seems to be about grooming the next generation of young fighters such as Light Flyweight Naoya Inoue, Minimumweight Ryuji Hara and Super Flyweight Ryo Matsumoto, 3 of the most promising young Japanese fighters out there right now.
Well done Mr Ohashi, well done to the trainers and fighters at the gym and all the best for the future. Hopefully they'll have 20 more years of great fighters, great training and great fights!
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